Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring is Here! Insects are near! Come with us on an Expedition into The Curiosity Files of Cicada-Killing Wasps

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                                                                             I am not sure about your kids, but my boys love insects. We love Nature exploration, especially in Spring time and what better way to learn that with The Homeschool Magazine's The Curiosity Files- Cicada-Killing Wasp. Are you familiar with The Homeschool Magazine? If you aren't you and your family are definitely missing out on some awesome adventures in learning. Not only is there a wonderful magazine that has been a life-saving resource to our family's Homeschool journey, but they have a Schoolhouse Store that is chock full of learning tools, for every age group and budget as well as learning styles. Take this particular E-book it costs only $1. Now I know you are probably thinking you are not getting much for $1. Wrong! You are getting 88 full-color pages with curriculum in just about every subject. This covers Elementary through Middle/High School, the recommended age is 8-13 and up. So if you are like me and like to teach all of your kids the same subject matter at the same time, these are perfect for you. Or if you only have one child or teach multi-curriculum this will work for you also.
  This is a list of items included in the purchase of this E-book from The Schoolhouse Store.
•Bible study, discussion ideas, and memory verses

•Math, history, and geography investigations

•Literature and suggested book list

•Writing, spelling, and vocabulary activities

•Beautiful copywork pages (manuscript and cursive)

•Science observations, projects, and experiments

•Discussion questions

•Art, crafts, and drawing and coloring pages

•Curiosity Snippets: lapbook/notebook pages and helpful links

•Special needs, hands-on discoveries

•Internet resources and video links

•Complete answer key

  The one thing that stood out to me to be such a pleasant surprise was how this unit study is so well thought out and executed. You start your learning with an Expedition into Nature with the ever eccentric Professor Ana Lyze and her research “spy” team. The kids felt as if they were on a real-life expedition with this zany professor. We dove right in head first and spent an entire week on just this study, as it covered all areas of our learning, from Bible to History, Manuscript, Spelling, Math and Crafts and there was even Music along with a whole bunch more. We learned about weather, the origin of the Cicada-Killing Wasp, what climates they live in as well as their ecosystem. We enjoyed the Bible verses that are strewn throughout the study, it is always refreshing to have the freedom to teach religion to our kids, coming from the Public School System where that was not allowed. We truly enjoyed the full color photographs of the insects as opposed to some text books where there are just sketch drawings, the photos gave you a close up look at what this wasp as well as others truly look like so we would be able to identify them if we came into contact with them.

 We chose to turn it into a lapbook as my boys are huge fans of lapbooks, if you have not lapbooked before you can find all sorts of information at The Old Schoolhouse on that as well. There were so many add ons we could get from this packet to make our lapbook full of knowledge and fun colorful images and many interactive aspects. The boys have enjoyed showing off their fully packed lapbook to our family and teaching them all about the Cicada-Killing Wasp. I find that with these unit studies not only my children, but I myself learn so much and retain more info as it is so hands on and we learn with that style so much more. I enjoy learning right along with my kids and I realize how much of their learning I missed by having them in school. I treasure every learning experience we have together and hope that I am building a foundation that I truly pray they will use if there is the opportunity to maybe homeschool their own children in the future.

  I loved the fact that you can use these Curiosity Files with Special Needs kids as well. They are so hands on that I know my boys got so much more out of this than just doing book work. You also can chose to either print the whole 88 page packet out or if you are like us, we chose to use our school computer and only print out the sheets we needed to actually write on like the quiz and Math pages, and the snippets for our lapbooks. This way I was only printing the pages and quantity of those pages that we actually needed to consume, because as you know this homeschool is all about being Green for our Earth. If you had to ask my boys what their most favorite part of this lesson was, it would have to be the Lab experiments. There is absolutely something for everyone inside this lesson plan.
  I know we enjoyed buzzing about with Professor Ana Lyze learning about the Cicada-Killing Wasp, and we hope we have inspired you to get a little Curious with The Curiosity Files as well. We will definitely be continuing on with the other E-books in this series throughout the Summer as we always continue with Science and other fun based learning activities to keep our minds sharp and our curious spirits fully engaged.

  Maybe your children are not the outdoorsy, insect type, there are so many more options for your homeschool than just Cicada-Kiling Wasp, take a look at what The Schoolhouse Store has to offer. The Curisoity Files are also available in a bundle pack for $46 and you will download 9 full adventures with Professor Ana Lyze —Expert in Outlandish Oddities.

 The Schoolhouse Store has far more to offer than just The Curiosity Files they offer such a wide variety, below are some of our favorites that we have used in our school lessons.
  Whether it be History, Geography, Science, Bible or anything in between, or is there a topic your kids are just yearning to delve deeper into such as E-Book: WannaBe™-When I Grow Up, I Want to be...10 Pack for just $35 you can have a complete curriculum of 10 E-books of professions your child may want to be when they grow up, like a firefighter. This particular series is perfect for kids 4-10 but expandable to be fun to include the whole family. There is also some exciting adventures in History waking to be explored, beginning with  an Ancient History  bundle pack.  or how about a Geography adventure as you explore Ancient Egypt with a project pack.  So what are you waiting for head to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's The Old Schoolhouse Store and find your next learning adventure for your homeschool family today, and make sure you come back and share with us which one you picked.

Disclaimer: I was given free product in exchange for my unbiased review,all thoughts and opinions are the actual feelings of myself and my family.

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